Thursday, February 28, 2008

Helengate: Retreat while you are behind

c Emmerson 2008

Related Reading

Electoral watchdog looks at websites
Blog: It's time for real answers, Winston
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'No-one's talking about deporting Herald editor'
Helen Clark:"silly campaign"

Watch Video: Winston's outburst

New Zealand Herald Feature: Democracy under attack

Continuing with her media attack this week, the mother of the nation, Ms Clark drew on the similarities made by journalists, also by Political Animal, between the ousting of a Journo from Fiji this week and Clark's paranoid attack on the media and especially the NZ Herald this week.

She, however, didn't see the obvious similarities that the New Zealand public saw emphasised by this quote from the Prime Minister:

"Democracy of course involves elections but it also involves freedom of media and freedom of speech and you're not going to be able to have a proper democratic process and elections in a years time unless those basic freedoms are upheld."

Earlier on this week Clark's paranoia escalated to lithium sized proportions when she attacked the Herald for running an active campaign for the last 91 years to discredit Labour and that the papers revelations last year over the anti freedom and anti democratic Electoral Finance Act were motivated by greed and a lust to retain advertising on the Herald's part.

Clark of course forgets that the majority of the media also railed against her fascist bill and most sensible people will tell you that the Herald is far left of centre, mostly favours Labour and has done so for her 9 years in the big swiveling chair.

Her Husband, Peter Davis, has dropped his apron and rubber gloves to pen another opus to the NZ Herald over what he calls the papers "
happy mischief and headlines" and their attacks on Labour, Owen Glenn, and his rather uniquely attractive wife.

"The Herald has had great fun at the expense of a wealthy donor and a political party.

Fair enough, perhaps, but does this incident not underline how perilous it is for our system of electoral financing to be so dependent - as it is - on (generally secretive) wealthy individuals and corporates?

Electoral financing in most well-ordered countries relies on a judicious mix of expenditure limits, state subsidies, individual contributions, and some transparent, larger donations.

Is it not about time the Herald did some even-handed reviews of the area, rather than just foment happy mischief and headlines?"

Dr Peter Davis, Kingsland

Now I'm not sure if Dr Davis has stopped taking his medication but he writes about "secretive, wealthy" people giving money to political parties but that is the very thing the subject of his letter is about. Glenn loaned $100,000.00 secretly to the Labour Party in 2005!

Now I'm not against individuals or corporates giving any amount of money to a political party, there should be no limits, as is the case in many civilised democratic countries, but I do agree with Davis that those donations should be made in a transperent way.

"some transparent, larger donations"

Davis is clearly referring to Owen Glenn's $500,000.00 donation to Labour for the funding of the 2005 election and it is also significant to the 2008 election because Labour added a specific clause into the Electoral Finanace Act to allow donations for expat individuals such as Glen, who live mostly overseas, to give to the party.

"Is it not about time the Herald did some even-handed reviews of the area"

Obviously Davis shares this view with his good wife and they seem simpatico on such matters.

What galls about New Zealand's first couple attacking the media and the Herald specifically, is that they are merely reporting what has transpired. It happened, get over it, move on, its getting bloody tired and quite frankly not a very statesman like way to behave.

Because you don't agree with it, it doesn't mean you should try and shut down debate by throwing your pitiful socialist labels around like a drunken teenager ejaculating on his bedsheets.

I'm embarrassed for her and her administration and look for more in a leader.

Labour's chief lap-dog Winston "Baubles" Peters also got into the act today. He abused media in a press conference that looked like something from "Yes Minister" crossed with "The Osbourns" and brought back distant memories of a drunken Rob Muldoon, Prime Minister back in the 1970s -80s.

Did Winston have a drink or two on the plane back from meeting with
Condoleezza Rice in Korea or did he have a quick swig of duty free in the Airport toilets prior to going before the cameras?

Of course first class travel, five star hotels and late nights can be very stressful.

This attack on the media from the left just has to stop, not for their sake, because it is clearly comedy gold for the media, but for the sake of the Labour Party and its prospects for the coming election.

They should be worried.

Related Political Animal reading

Helen Shoots herself in both feet

Helen Clark's slipping Teflon leaves her naked
Labour's Teflon in Tatters

Clark's rudeness to Glenn plumbs new depths
Colmar Brunton Poll and comment
Labour Party election funding murky at best
Electoral Finance Bill: The purpose is clear
Owen Glenn given the cold shoulder
Snouts in the trough bent out of shape
The Owen Glenn story: Singing the same tune but hitting a bum note
Victim of Electoral Finance Act forced to close website
Mike Moore turns knife on Electoral Finance Bill
Electoral Finance Bill: Day of Protest Auckland Nov 17, 2007

c Political Animal 2008

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